Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools and Horses’ Sue Holderness ‘always thought Marlene could end up in the Queen Vic’ as she proposes EastEnders crossover

The actress, who played Marlene in Only Fools and Horses, is starring in EastEnders this week

Sue Holderness, who played Marlene Boyce in Only Fools and Horses from 1985 to 2003, has said she would love to see the iconic show cross over with EastEnders.

The British sitcom actress has joined the EastEnders’ cast for a guest stint this week, and seems to have been inspired by her new role.

Sue is playing theatrical agent Estelle Jones, who has her eye on Billy Mitchell during her week in Albert Square.

Sue Holderness as Estelle in EastEnders (Image: BBC)

Estelle is worlds apart from Sue’s old on screen alter-ego Marlene, who the actress has decided would also be a great fit in Walford, she told RadioTimes.

Proposing a collision of worlds between EastEnders and Only Fools, Sue told the television mag: “I’ve always thought Marlene could end up in the Queen Vic and get embroiled in some adventures.”

She added: “If she fancied leaving Shropshire to visit her old friends in Peckham she could pop into Albert Square.

“I imagine she’d start flirting with everyone and her husband Boycie would have to rescue her!”

Sue quickly spotted a potential pitfall in her whacky proposal, however.

“Perhaps there’s enough leopard print around in the show, Kat Slater has rather cornered that market hasn’t she?!” she said.

‘I don’t think Kat and Marlene would get on’

Sue mused that Kat and Marlene probably wouldn’t get on, leopard print or not.

“I can see them getting into a fight in the pub!” she said.

Sue’s Only Fools character Marlene, and her husband Boycie, were so popular with viewers they ended up with their own spin-off series two years after Only Fools wound up in 2003.

John Challis as Boycie and Sue Holderness as Marlene in The Green Green Grass (Image: BBC)

The Green Green Grass took the Boyces from Peckham to greener pastures, instead placing them in rural Shropshire for the show’s four-year run.

Sue told RadioTimes : “After John Sullivan (creator of Only Fools and The Green Green Grass) died and the show had finished, it felt like Marlene and Boycie had nowhere else to go, but I thought the obvious place for the characters was EastEnders.

“Get them back into London and they could have all sorts of adventures.

“I’ve often thought it could actually be possible.”

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Marlene would ‘definitely have her eye on Phil Mitchell’

Sue let her imagination run wild as she predicted that Marlene would be ‘flirting with everyone’ in the fictional crossover.

She said: “I’m sure she’d put herself about a bit in Walford.

“She certainly would’ve mucked around with Dirty Den in the old days, he was very much her scene.

“She’d definitely have her eye on Phil Mitchell these days, she likes a bit of rough!”

Sue said she is ‘pleased to remind people I can play other characters’ with her new role in EastEnders, adding that fans are often disappointed when they meet her, “as I don’t sound like Marlene.”

She revealed there were plans to bring Boycie and Marlene back to the box last year, in a new charity sketch by Sullivan’s son Jim, but they were scrapped due to Covid.

She said: “Jim Sullivan writes very well, he knows the characters.

“I keep suggesting he could write something for Boycie and Marlene to bring them back.”

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